tv [untitled] January 17, 2011 4:00am-4:30am PST
review and come in and get 45 minutes or an hour and a group of planners to talk about the project. this is really good but this is not at level at what we are aiming at. we would like to give them much better information. this is designed to be generally neutral and we thought this was an important point. we don't want this to be seen as adding another process, another step, another fee. this is beneficial to the project over all because the review will be more efficient. because of that there will be a fee to cover staff time but that will be credited to their environmental review. the letter is a procedural road map. based on the project and the plans submitted, these are all
of the requirements that you will face. you will need this kind of environmental study and so on. you want to get as much useful information as possible. but we have right now is limited and we might not have all the information that is relevant. we also want to give early design comments or just general comments may be based on planning department policy or other projects or issues that they will have to deal with and we will let them know that. the good thing is that it will create more ordination between the department of visions and we will get into how that will work later. this is not a project approval or denial.
we are committed to turning this letter within 60 days. several projects had gone very well. people are being out on vacation. id republished on the web site. just to get into the internal processing, i will not go into too much detail. we will have questions later if you like. essentially, you have the application and the sponsor can opt to have a brief meeting with the signers if they like. they don't have to. essentially, a copy of the application and plans, there will be four of them. one is neighborhood planning, a major environmental analysis, and citywide. when will go to our design review team.
each of the four reviewers will go through their steps of reviewing the project and will be a coordinator can tell -- will be a coordinator. everything will be reviewed by supervisors and effort to make sure that we are getting accurate and good information to the sponsors. once the coordinator dress at a later, their supervisor of the book over the entire letter again to make sure that we will get the quality information. -- once the coordinator addresses the letter, their supervisor will look over the entire letter again. once a it is issue, there is an 18 month expiration time. they have 18 months from the date of issuance to file their first development application. if you wait beyond that, you
would probably need any nearby a -- need a new ppa. we will roll this out february 1st. in terms of being required, we are letting it be known that projects that are subject to this can require at any time. i will pass this over to sir john's. >> i will talk about the stages of the review process after applications are filed with the department. there is the ability for the project's sponsors to file an
environmental review application. the major environmental analysis group can be working with those applications for six months, 12 months, 18 months. without a good mechanism for us to be working in a coordinated manner with citywide planning and neighborhood planning which have really key interest in these projects. we were as we look at this process trying to find a way that we could provide for all of that information that is necessary to be filed and the initiation process for bringing the project to the commission for approval. this needs to be filed at once. that is not feasible to do for
developers are something that is even desirable for our department. as we work all of this through, we identified a new stage or carve out a new stage in this process called the project description stage and what that involves is that a project sponsored submit their environmental application and then -- would work in a coordinated manner with citywide planning, with the department of senior management, design review, to identify the project description that is going forward into the environmental review process. that process would evolves. i am happy to answer questions. review of the project and initiation of some of the special environmental studies,
particularly those that are going to potentially feedback into the project. working out some of the policy issues that exist around the project and essentially everyone coming to the point both within the planning department and the sponsor where we are all understanding that we are on the same page about what the description of the project is that is going forward into the environmental review. sometimes we get pretty far into the environmental review and then we have neighborhood planning look at the project and there are major changes. in case people wonder why it takes so long to do the environmental review process, we are trying to deal with that issue. so, we will have this new stage and ultimately had a project description that is agreed on by
all. at that point, we will require that the entitlement applications defiled prior to publishing any of the documents. -- applications filed prior to publishing any of the documents. then we will move into the entitlement status which is the point at which we would actually be publishing the environmental review documents and get to the point of bringing the project to the commission and to the historic preservation commission. all the steps in a process that are more visible now. i think that that covers it and we are having to take any questions or comments to anyone who presented it today. >> i just wanted to to summarize
quickly the kind of major changes. i know it is hard to make the internal review process as exciting for public comment. for us planning geeks' to do this, this is actually pretty cool stuff. the most important thing that i want to say is that there is more certainty for project sponsors and more certainty to the public. the early review gives project sponsors an early read and that letter is posted on the web site long before the public receives a notice of the project. this is actually giving early notice to the public about the project. in terms of the changes, the first change is that the project application, you approve of that field so that is in place
and that is an important change. we are requiring the project's sponsors who filed their entitlement applications sooner than they do today. it is very important because what often happens is that many of the issues that are not related to seqa come up in this process but to the are not really these issues. earlier entitlement, that allows us to involve all members of the department and not just the environmental stage. for all those reasons, i think that that represents an important change internally in terms of how we do our work that provides more certainty in the process as we go forward. i am pleased that we're able to get to this point after a lot of work by staff and i appreciate all of the hard work. but >> is there any public comment?
>> i am the executive director for the little city. thank you for the invitation to make the stakeholder meeting. i appreciate that you're doing all of this as a department and you are inviting people to participate. just a few comments based on experience i have had with projects. on a large project review, there needs to be a phase where a general plan goal is discussed with the very large project. a good example, city place. there was a proposal to create a passageway through the block and that never got discussed and never really surface. when you are looking at these projects at the broadest level, how did they apply to this
project? what are the opportunities to advance those goals? also, streetscapes. we have had a longstanding provision in the downtown plan. some projects are required to do in mid block projects. what are these public benefits? there is the impoverished public realm and what we're getting in san francisco. we are trying to bridge that we're not there. another idea is to use an example on the slide of one that was done in san jose.
i'm not saying that this should be as a plan although there are things that they do really well. one thing that was helpful when we were looking at the height controls a set of the city had done a little fact sheet which shows the alleyway controls and i thought there is a lot of sections of the code that really benefit from a one-page double sided fact sheet. harder for some people. based on the fact sheet, it would certainly be a good thing. lastly, there is the style sheet. i asked about this. he is sending me the stasi.
to determine how organized a section of the planning coat? in a. telling folks on the other side of the whole hide would like this to be done in the future with say was a lot of work. making it makes sense on the back end. get some style sheets for the planning code amendments. incrementally it will get better and better instead of more disorganized, which seems to be the pattern. paththank you. >> sue hester. the staff has done a good job and i want to talk about tweaking it to be really good. the website is critical. the planning web site is really hodgepodge. it is hard to find things. you can put all kinds of things
on it. if you cannot find it its best as though it does not exist. it is really important for the community that is something is proposed to this site -- there is flooding. underground springs. if at the very dangerous grambling. -- at the very and you were scrambling. there is that memory. one of the other problems as there is no institutional memory on the planning commission practices. in the practice -- in the past, you always struggle with how you plan this. you say, we want to modify this. other planning commissions, and i do not think anyone else knows
this, we are going to give you instructions. big problems, little problems. go back and review this. you do not have to have another hearing on this. you put the revision off in our package so you can make sure what we're talking about most of the time. sometimes commissioners have said that was not what we're talking about. that was the practice 15, 20 years ago for the entire planning commission. those kinds of things would make your time more efficient and less stressful about seeing here is how we need to modify a that the yen. -- modify it at the end. you need to modify how people are going to find out. you could down to the public computer and you call up the site and there is a little list. it is not always kept up.
i think the people -- the people who know that is probably five of us to check that. it is an important way. people are trying to figure out -- they are trying to figure out what is going on. they really want to know how this is going on. how people find out who the parcher coordinator is that something is going on is really important -- to the parcher accord nader is is really important. -- who the project coordinator is is really important. please tell us how to monitor, that you are going to monitor the expiration of the approval. i could not see that.
>> i think the idea of having the ppa is a really good idea. you get a snapshot before you go into the project. speakers talk about the website fact sheets are a good idea and a general access for the public to try to triage to the process because i often get calls and sometimes we are a abbas to tell them where to go -- we are at a loss to tell them where to go. there is a main site and then we direct them where to go to answer their questions. on the graphic revisions and hard to tell because it is pretty small but i would hope whenever these revisions take
place, the -- stays intact. you have the address, the web site. certainly and facts number because i think that is good even though we get it with every document, oftentimes the public only gets one document and it is good at a glance that they can refer to this case. i think this is a great step in the right direction. >> i like it as well. i have a question. with respect to the coordinator, you have said that the coordinator could change the process but assuming that there is a coordinator in number 1 in the project, do you think that same coordinator carries through both on the environmental? >> the idea is that whenever possible that is exactly what we would like to do.
>> this is intended to be sequential, is that correct. there is the environmental and then there is the entitlement. there could be some overlap. >> the only place where there can be overlapped is phases 2 and 3. once the project description phase-in is over, there will be more work to do and then you have to file your entitlement.
instead of being sequential in terms of environmental and entitlement, there is an overlap. >> the last question, this is all internal within the department. i know that we have back-and- forth relationships and at some point maybe we could see a little flow chart of what happens between flanagan and -- what happens between dbi and planning. i assume those might get back to planning at a certain point. i know in some instances they don't and that is not the department's problem. if any case, if we could see a chart like this up when this happens and when this happens and under what circumstances and that kind of thing.
>> i would like to commend the staff. all of staff and the director for the progress on the action plan given the overall challenges of the budget and everything you have made it happen. i think the preliminary assessment and the standardize its provisions for approval are all the amazing opportunities and especially clearing up the project description. that is one of the challenges we have had at the question is whether they are looking at the right range of alternatives. i think the change is not defined in the very beginning. this leads us to question whether or not all of the information is there and those are spot on improvements. i think that in general, the public will benefit from having
this information and knowing what to do with it. i want to thank you for working in this direction and standardizing the documents. i think it is much more clear. people know what they should go to when looking for information. any direction we can go that is positive is a step forward. i think this is a huge improvement in what we have had. >> i would like to add a couple more thoughts and i appreciate the public comment. i would like to take it from the top regarding the first part of the presentation. is there any attempt to make multi it lynn will appoint a company comment on a website? we often find ourselves with an audience who needs translation
on technical matters which would be difficult to translate by standard translators. is there an attempt to halt the multilingual community be more in the process and understand at least the highlights? >> yes, we have just recently contracted with a translation service so that if someone comes to the counter -- we have people on the staff that can speak multiple languages but the technical issues are often the problem. there is a translation service that many departments are using. if someone comes with specific questions, we can call them and there is actually an as needed service for translation. >> that would be helpful >> the comment a number two, this kind of ties to what was said on the
design guidelines. i hope that this is the first step in really looking at updating, refining and broadening residential guidelines and perhaps using the tool of the code as a small way to bring demonstrations four different conditions which go beyond what we are currently using. these things do not help anyone any more. this does not help the department. i think that we have more tools in which we can help ourselves. we can give more meaning to how we have set the guidelines. moving through the process itself, i appreciate a process and i appreciate the steps that
i would encourage that there are times to understand the references for the general plan and the naval plans. there's also the urban design plans. there are neighbors to remember all of the recommendations. i think that we should, i understand from the onset so it made the process clearer and shorter i would like to suggest on following up and perhaps that -- gets a separate presentation on what we are trying to do to put them on notice for this is really in process and this would help everyone to be more
comprehensive and supportive of each other. >> i would like to thank staff from the department for this which is long overdue. we have been talking about this for six years or more. i would like to thank all of you for all of your hard work. i support the comments made by -- and --. the website is something that we do have some concerns about that maybe i will share some other time. sometimes in addition to the language, sometimes even in english is kind of hard to get through some of the language which is kind of obscure. sometimes the public could use
some help from south. this is one step in informing the public about this but you might want to open up and have some other meetings or the public is informed about some of these things because even some people are filing, it can be a little bit daunting, i think. i don't know how we make that whole thing center for the public. finally, during the budget, my sense, i want to understand more enforcement and out enforcement is prioritized or not in the department. when we discussed the budget, that is an area that i would really like to see a little bit more detail on. last year, there was more expectations that were on the department but were put there.
there was neighbors: about concerns about things going on in their neighborhoods. we get calls a lot from members of the public to have concerns and i know that we have a limited staff. in order to make some of this work, we really need to focus on the role they play and make sure that we have the corporate number of staff -- the appropriate number of staff to cover these. an example of something that was written regarding the was written regarding the sidewalks and what not and how